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Teen abortions decline by 16 percent

Free birth control and easy access to information contribute to the shrinking abortion rate, says the national health watchdog THL.

nainen ottamassa jälkiehkäisytablettia
Access to free birth control is one of the factors contributing to the decline of teen abortions. Image: Vesa Moilanen / Lehtikuva

The number of abortions per capita in Finland continues to decline, according to new information released on Monday by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

In 2018, a total of 8,602 abortions were carried out in Finland. This figure is the lowest since 1970. Compared with 2017, there were 8.4 percent fewer abortions in 2018.

For those under the age of 20, the number abortions has decreased significantly in recent years. Year-on-year, the number of teen abortions was 16.1 percent lower in 2018 than in 2017.

Free contraception makes a difference

The numbers point to free birth control and easy access to information deterring unwanted pregnancies.

”In recent years, municipalities have started offering free contraception to youth. At the same time, the internet has made it easier for young people to find information,” says THL’s senior planner Anna Heino.

The majority of abortions in Finland are undertaken by 20- to 24-year-olds. Yet, in this age category the number of abortions is decreasing year-on-year and in 2018 there were 10 percent fewer abortions than in 2017.

The largest number of abortions per capita were recorded in Åland and the Lapland hospital region. The least number of abortions per capita were recorded in the hospital districts of Pirkanmaa and Kainuu.

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